Philadelphia made history as the first major city in the country to ban police officers from making minor traffic stops. The left believes that if these traffic stops are eliminated, the opportunities for cops to target minorities unjustly will decrease.
The city voted 14-2 approving the legislation. Philadelphia claims the bill was written with the help of the Philadelphia police to “significantly reduce car stops by police for minor infractions that advocates believe discriminate disproportionately against black and brown motorists.”
No, this isn’t the BabylonBee.
The Philadelphia Inquirer echoed the city’s claim that cops use minor infractions to target black drivers. The publication reported that the city “approved groundbreaking legislation that will bar its police officers from pulling over drivers for low-level motor vehicle offenses like broken taillights, a long-standing law enforcement tool that critics said led to Black motorists being stopped at disproportionate rates.”
Philadelphia lawmaker and author of the “Driving Equality Bill,” Isaiah Thomas, is proud of his bill’s passing. “This is something that is historic that could put us in a position where we’re addressing an issue that has been plaguing black communities,” Thomas said. “Philadelphia is leading the nation when it comes to this particular issue.”
Thomas claims that the fear of minor traffic stops for black people in Philadelphia compromised the public’s trust in law enforcement. “By removing the traffic stops that promote discrimination rather than public safety, City Council has made our streets safer and more equitable,” said Thomas.
The City Council said despite objections from the two Republicans, who claim the legislation violates state law, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney is expected to sign the legislation into law. The bill allows just 120 days to retrain all city police officers before data begins to be collected.
The bill requires a searchable database of all traffic stops by law enforcement. “Data will tell us if we should end more traffic stops or amend how this is enforced,” said Thomas. “Data will also tell other cities that Philadelphia is leading on this civil rights issue, and it can be replicated.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the bill could eliminate as many as 300,000 police encounters making up 97% of police vehicle stops.
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